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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

ISPCA warns that casual dog fighting is on the rise

The activity is called “rolling” and is often linked to gangs.

Image: Dog via Shutterstock

CASUAL DOGFIGHTING, OR “rolling” is on the rise, according to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).

The ISPCA this week released photos of an English bull terrier named Garth who was found bloodied and beaten after a suspected dog fight.

The ISPCA’s Conor Dowling says that Garth’s case is not an isolated one.

“It is definitely a problem,” Dowling told

He said that there is two forms of the bloodsport, with the second form becoming a problem.

Though dog fighting has been illegal for 170 years, it has still gone on and is generally linked to criminal community.

“These events would have their own rules and regulations, but it’s difficult to infiltrate.

“Previously, the fights would have been fairly organised and had weight classes and rules. But what we’re seeing is people just putting two dogs together that they think will fight.

“It’s called street fighting or rolling.

It’s a problem in built-up urban areas and is often linked to gangs. It is used to increase the macho image of someone and has been used to settle gang fights, rather than having two people fight.

As Garth proves, the impromptu nature of rolling doesn’t lessen the impact and damage on the dog.

There is also the danger that dogs are stolen for the purpose of rolling.

“There is certainly anecdotal evidence that people see what they think is a violent dog and steal them.”

For that reason, among others, the ISPCA says that anybody who has a dog should be micochipping it.

Dog fighting carries punishments including an up to €250,000 fine and two years in prison. The ISPCA has been buoyed by changes to the law that made attendance at a dog fight and keeping dogs for the purposes of fighting illegal.

Read: Dog found battered and bloodied “may have been in a dog fight”

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